Apple and Amazon could hook up for health care

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Apple health care
Apple Watch ECG is one of the ways this company is getting into health monitoring.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple has made it clear it sees health monitoring as an important part of its business. And now analysts from Morgan Stanley are urging the company combine its efforts with Haven, a partnership of Amazon and others hoping to improve health care while also making it more affordable.

But it’s not clear how Apple would benefit from any such collaboration.

Apple Music faces fresh competition from Amazon’s new free option

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The Amazon Echo.
Your Amazon Echo can serenade you without a subscription, if you’re willing to endure ads.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Amazon just launched a free streaming music service for its smart speakers. This is further competition for Apple Music and Spotify, who are battling it out in the paid music subscription business.

This service could bring additional pressure for a free Apple Music option.

Spotify’s fight against increased rates is good for Apple Music

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Apple Music
The #CancelSpotify movement is a win for Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotify’s efforts to avoid paying higher rates is giving Apple Music a big advantage, according to a new report.

Apple is the only major music streaming company that isn’t appealing a decision to increase the rate paid to songwriters. As a result, Apple Music is getting all the love on social media.

Amazon thinks it can beat AirPods on audio quality

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AirPods 2. AirPods S, more like.
The wearables market is about to heat up.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s AirPods are about to get some fresh competition from Amazon.

The online retail giant is reportedly planning to release its own set of wireless earbuds that will be powered by its digital assistant Alexa and possibly better audio quality.

YouTube cancels original series just as Apple enters the game

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Overthinking
One of the shows to get the boot.
Photo: YouTube

YouTube is reportedly canceling its original series just as Apple prepares to unveil a video streaming service of its own.

At least two of YouTube’s biggest shows have been axed, according to a new report. The service has also stopped accepting pitches for new originals as it drops plans to compete with the likes of Amazon and Netflix.

5 Apple original shows finish filming ahead of March 25 event

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Apple TV Siri Remote
But they won't be ready for streaming for a while.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Five of Apple’s original TV shows have now finished filming, according to a new report. They have entered post-production ahead of the company’s March 25 event, but they’re not expected to be available until the fall.

Apple is said to be working on around six other shows that are still in production. The company is also developing lots more original content that is planned to debut in 2020.

Stream Apple Music on Amazon Fire TV starting today

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Your Amazon Fire TV can stream Apple Music.
Your Amazon Fire TV can stream Apple Music, not just Game of Thrones.
Photo: Amazon

In what would have been radical change a few years ago, your Amazon Fire TV can now stream songs from the Apple Music service.

This is the latest move from the iPhone maker to allow users to access its services on hardware made by rival companies.

It’s show time! Apple confirms March 25 event at Steve Jobs Theater

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Apple Show time event
Apple is expected to launch a number of new services this spring.
Photo: Apple

Apple will hold its next special event on Monday, March 25, in the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino.

The “It’s show time” event is expected to bring a number of new services, including new TV content and a paid Apple News service. Fans have been eagerly anticipating confirmation of Apple’s next keynote, with rumors surrounding new subscription services circulating. The tagline for this one suggests it will focus on Apple’s upcoming video service, with hardware taking a backseat.

Apple Music sides with artists in battle for higher royalty payouts

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Apple Music
Apple decided not to fight the ruling to pay songwriters more.
Photo: Apple

Every major music streaming service is joining together to appeal a controversial ruling that increases payouts to songwriters. Everyone except Apple Music that is.

Spotify, Google, Pandora and Amazon have teamed up to fight the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to increase payouts to songwriters by 44%. Apple is the only major streamer not planning to fight the ruling, causing some artists to heap praise on the iPhone-maker for its stance.

Apple’s ‘intrusive’ execs criticized by Hollywood

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Tim Cook and Co. bring the hardware heat at The Brooklyn Academy of Music during the
Tim Cook wants TV shows to be family-friendly.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s “intrusive” executives, including CEO Tim Cook, have been criticized by Hollywood for becoming too involved in ongoing TV projects.

Agents and producers have complained about how “difficult” Apple is to work with, according to a new report. The company’s “nitpicking” has led to delays that mean only a handful of shows will be available when its new streaming service launches.